Amazing Interest: 1959 Chevrolet Impala

This 1959 Chevrolet Impala has rust in abundance, but it appears to be a structurally sound car. It will take a brave soul to tackle this as a restoration project, but the bidding to date indicates that there are plenty of those out there. The Impala is located in Grand Ridge, Illinois, and is listed for sale here on eBay. It has so far received an astounding 65 bids, and this has pushed things along to $8,500. With the reserve now met, it looks like someone is about to score themselves a pretty involved project car.

The owner says that he found the Impala hidden away in an Illinois barn, and it isn’t clear how long the car called that barn home. If you are seeking rust, you will find plenty of it here. The floors are all gone and will need to be replaced, while there is the usual rust in the rockers, quarter panels, hood, and the trunk lid. The car does come with replacements for the latter two items, and both are said to be in good condition. The external trim and chrome appear to be quite reasonable, and a spare tail-light and original hubcaps are included with the car.

In spite of what you can see in the photos, the interior of the Impala is said to be complete, but numerous items aren’t fitted to the car. The owner says that it will need complete restoration, so that’s just something to add to the growing list of work that will be required on this Impala. The dash itself looks like it is in pretty reasonable condition, and it is nice to see that the distinctive lower trim appears to be intact and undamaged. The factory radio is still in place, so there are a few positives to be found inside the car. This photo also gives you a graphic insight into just how extensive the rust is in the floors.

Under the hood of the Impala is the original 235ci Blue Flame 6-cylinder engine, and this sends the power to the rear wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission. More accurately, it sent the power to the rear wheels, because the owner does say that the engine is stuck. If someone is taking this car on as a full restoration, then they might be able to get the engine to turn freely again with a bit of luck. If they can’t then the owner does offer an alternative. Included in the sale is a 348ci V8 of 1959 vintage. He hasn’t heard this engine run but has been assured that it does. It is fitted with a 4-barrel carburetor, and we know that it does at least turn freely. The Impala also rolls on a set of brand new tires that have never seen the road.

With such strong bidding to date, it is obvious that there are plenty of people who would like to take this Impala home. As I said in the beginning, reviving it is going to be a pretty big undertaking, but we have seen plenty of project cars in worse condition find their way across the pages of Barn Finds. This is a car that is now set to go off to a new home, but I’m interested to know whether any of our readers are interested in joining the bidding frenzy.

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Comments

  1. JW454

    I love the last picture. The sun shining through the windshield and onto the ground below the car. I’d believe I’d get it road worthy and just drive it as is for awhile. Put some temporary sheet metal over the holes in the floor as needed and make sure it goes, stops and turns safely and just drive it. If the motor can’t be freed up you can always find another 235 somewhere. They made a bunch of them. Not every car needs to be a concourse show winner.

    Like 19
    • Superdessucke

      Agreed. You can get some nice oxygen in the cabin from the grass below. How many new cars can you say that about?

    • Little_Cars

      Leonard Cohen’s lyric: “There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in…” Who new a rusted out floorboard could actually produce a spiritual awakening!??

  2. Dan

    Not for the faint of heart or light of wallet. Seems like a hefty price for a car that will require lots of metal-work. The current bid is about four times what I’d pay for it.

    Like 13
  3. Troy s

    Wonder if they own the gold Charger in the background? Looks kinda mean.
    This car looks kinda mean too, needs some attitude under the hood and of course some seats for driving pleasure.

    Like 3
    • PatrickM

      Like Dan said, “Not for the light wallet.” That would be me. Yet, I have always loved these cars. Some stories tell of the tail fins acting like airplane wings in a wind, lifting the rear end a bit and loosing some traction. I can neither confirm nor deny this statement. I love the styling and they have always been on my dream sheet. But, sadly, not this one. Hope it finds a good home with a caring owner who will restore it with the correct drive train. Good job BF. Keep ’em comin’.

      Like 5
  4. local_sheriff

    Yup, it is indeed rusty however it’s in no way beyond. Considering one can more or less build a 59 Chevy out of repop parts I’m sure it will be back on the road (some day). It will require body repair skills and $ above average though, which excludes many of us, me included. The price is way above what I’d pay; there are several other similar cars that offer more value for money nowadays.

    At this year’s July 4th cruising I got the opportunity to chat with a fella who’d brought along a sibling to this Impala; a nicely restored BelAir 2dpost in two-tone Aqua/White, bagged and riding on 20inchers. It also had the 235 with some Offy upgrades and TH700 tranny; I fell so in love with it…!

    Like 4
  5. Chris in Clover

    too far gone to be anything beyond a parts donor, except possibly for a highly skilled and very masochistic metal man.
    so the bids are insane here.
    maybe if it was your grandpa’s car you could justify getting 5X upside down in this one but otherwise no thanks……

    Like 3
  6. art

    Yes, this would have to be considered a labor of love. Even the A pillar is rusted through. That’s a sign of how much rust this poor car has. I was not a fan of the ’59 when I was a kid, but now I’ve grown to like and appreciate the quirky design.
    I hope the new owner can save the car. I imagine that it must have been a “looker” when new.

    Like 4
  7. TimM

    Tons of metal work on this one but it looks like the trim is all there and if most of that stuff is salvageable it might not nickel and dime you to death!!!

    Like 1
  8. Matt steele

    I live 5 miles away in ottawa il,would love to look at it but I can’t buy and it’s not fair to waist their time…I love these cars

    Like 2
  9. Tom Bell

    In line six and three on the tree was a once common mode of power that exists no more and for that reason at least deserves to be preserved. Although seems a bit unusual to find that set-up in an Impala other than a Biscayne. Indeed a labor of love given current condition.

    The ’59’s evoked a lot of comment when they came out following the adored ’58’s, much of it negative. Rumor was that if driven too fast, air rushing under the “fins” wold lift the rear of the car.

    Like 6
  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    There is one of these in the same blue color on my daily back roads drive to work. It is being kept in one of those dome shaped temporary vinyl garages and all you can see is the rear end when the garage is unzipped. Can’t see any further to see condition, 2 or 4 door, etc.
    I am hoping that the owner will have it out some day so that I can get a closer look at it.
    I really like these and the ’58.

    Like 1
  11. Srt8

    I’m thinking shill bidder because that’s a crazy price given the work needed.

    Like 3
  12. Ken Wittick

    One of the ugliest cars ever

    Like 1
  13. Capt Willie Whiskers

    My foster dad was parts manager at a high volume dealership in the boroughs of NYC. They had a sign in the service department offering sharpening of the fins for rush hour traffic. I remember as a youngster all the February/March deliveries coming without the grill shot-glass trim – that’s right…. Rumor had it that near end of year all the union parties in Detroit featured these grill jiggers full of booze on every party table.

    Like 2
  14. Troy s

    I’m waayyy to young (52) to know what it was like and how certain designs came to be,, but the way I heard it was all the fins, sometimes very large fins, were about aerodynamics learned from aircraft??? I get the vertical fins, ’57 Chevy as an example, as it might keep the car going straight at speed at least in theory, although there’s a big difference in speed between a car and jet aircraft…don’t get the horizontal design here at all.
    My aunt had a fairly new ’59 Chevy after she got married, ugly color too, drove it for years until 1974/late ’73. She cried her eyes when they traded it for an olive refrigerator green brand new ’74 Ford Torino station wagon,,can’t blame her for crying on that trade really.
    If guys and gals want this to an original 6 pot 3 on the tree tribute car to what most people bought first thing you do is lose the mag wheels, otherwise its got hot rod show and shine or even potential rat/retro rod written all over it. It’s now or never on this rusty Chevy.

    Like 3
  15. Del

    These are extremely rare. I cannot recall seeing one in the flesh anywheres.

    This would be a nice resto but probably the metal work would break the bank unless you did it yourself.

    As always shill bidding may be a factor

    Like 4
    • Little_Cars

      “Extremely rare?” On what planet? Do you mean rare to see one for sale in 2019? A 59 Chevy Impala is pretty much the one car you can expect to see at every Show & Shine, and in period photos of cars stacked going to the crusher. Even the wagons are pretty common on Barn Finds considering how infrequently one sees a 58 wagon for sale. The high windshields on the 1959-61 GM cars led to a lot of them losing their floors early. The sealing technology was just not there to prevent a leak from dripping onto the floors and eventually rotting the metal.

      Like 1
  16. Del

    The six banger would be the first thing to get rid of. This needs a V8

    Like 1
  17. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Funny….just look at the bidding on this one….looks like E has it…or is it E…O ?

  18. bobhess bobhess Member

    Del… Agree on both points. Have seen some convertibles and wagons for sale but don’t remember any 2 door hard tops. A 348 would look good in this car…

    Like 2

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